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Old 03-23-2012, 10:23 AM   #1
armysig
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suede wrapped wheel and shifter question

I was wondering what the life of the suede is on the steering wheel and shifter? I have no plans of selling my ZL-1, and I was kind of wondering if this is something I should be concerned about in 4 or 5 years.

Does anyone have experiance with this on other vehicles?
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Old 03-23-2012, 10:30 AM   #2
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Excellent thread! I'm curious as well. I remember 'father posting that this synthetic wears better than the natural-style, if I remember correctly. If I'm not correct, then 'father didn't say it, lol.

I'd be a little worried about the steering wheel and shifter, obviously. These are getting the most action. I would think GM would know this and make sure it would be durable enough that it won't break down, but it would be nice to get some independent observations
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Old 03-23-2012, 10:34 AM   #3
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The only thing that comes to mind that would perserve the material would be if the driver wore racing style gloves all the time. This is not practical at all, but that's the only way I could think of keeping our oils from our hands off the suade. I'm sure that was the first intent from GM when they offered this option as it would be more for a racing application.
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Old 03-23-2012, 10:37 AM   #4
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That's why I went with the standard leather wrap. It seem the upkeep of keeping it clean would be much easier than suede. The oils and dirt from your hands would make it look bad after awhile.
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Old 03-23-2012, 10:38 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armysig View Post
The only thing that comes to mind that would perserve the material would be if the driver wore racing style gloves all the time. This is not practical at all, but that's the only way I could think of keeping our oils from our hands off the suade. I'm sure that was the first intent from GM when they offered this option as it would be more for a racing application.
I think that I'm thinking along similar lines to you. However - being synthetic, perhaps this material is less affected by the oils. I'm almost more worried about the friction and abrasion by our hands.

Now - isn't this suede supposed to be like alacantra? Isn't that a synthetic that is durable, like leather, but lighter? They use that a lot in supercars, dont' they? Or is ZL1's suede actual alacantra?... I'm not thinking that's the case, because I suspect alacantra to be very expensive, but I'm a little confused on the matter...
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Old 03-23-2012, 10:40 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlingShot View Post
That's why I went with the standard leather wrap. It seem the upkeep of keeping it clean would be much easier than suede. The oils and dirt from your hands would make it look bad after awhile.
Would if "flatten-out" the texture, and maybe discolor it? I find it a little hard to believe the suede would be strictly for appearance and have little function, because everything else ZL1-specific is form AND function. I seriously don't know, and am not pretending to make an excuse, but I am truly curious: Is this suede a benefit for better grip and is it going to be at least as rugged as leather? I can see adding it to the seats would grap clothes and suits better, but it's a little different when we're talking about what we're grabbing at with our hands, in this case...

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Old 03-23-2012, 10:45 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlingShot View Post
That's why I went with the standard leather wrap. It seem the upkeep of keeping it clean would be much easier than suede. The oils and dirt from your hands would make it look bad after awhile.
Same here, I haven't heard any positive things about the suede and I don't want to look at stained/dirty parts that I cannot clean
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Old 03-23-2012, 10:48 AM   #8
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Should be same as CTS-V?
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Old 03-23-2012, 10:54 AM   #9
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And the Corvette's
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Old 03-23-2012, 10:58 AM   #10
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the new microfiber is nice. the leather wheel in my ram started wear at 5 years. the leather wheel in my last mustang was ok at 8 years but showed wear. the one in my vett is fine but the cars really don't get driven alot. there is a mark down on the bottom of the wheel where wile getting out something rubbed on it. I dont think that would be there with a microfiber wheel.

we have an 8 year old microfiber chair. this is good shape.

I just put a centenial edition microfiber wheel in a buddies 2006 Z06 he likes it and I liked it but it is only 3 months old so hard to comment on wear.

I think the package is about $200 to much the wheel was only $250 but I ordere it.
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Old 03-23-2012, 11:08 AM   #11
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I bet Indpowr would be able to answer this question. Though (and not bashing Chevy or 'Father here either) I feel that DSV Customs material is probably higher quality than the synthetic stuff on ours. But I feel like synthetic and natural suede get cared for the same way.
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Old 03-23-2012, 11:17 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlingShot View Post
That's why I went with the standard leather wrap. It seem the upkeep of keeping it clean would be much easier than suede. The oils and dirt from your hands would make it look bad after awhile.
me too, i didnt think it would hold well enough to be worth the money. in tx it gets hot as hell, and i dont think the sweat would help prolong the life of it.
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Old 03-23-2012, 11:18 AM   #13
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The suede option for the ZL1 cost more than the one in the CTS-V doesn't it? maybe it's better stuff. I saw a post on the CTS-V forum about cleaning the suede with light dish soap and how it cleans the oils and stands the fibers back up after it dries. Needless to say I ordered it for the function and am not worried about it.
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Old 03-23-2012, 11:47 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radz28 View Post
Would if "flatten-out" the texture, and maybe discolor it? I find it a little hard to believe the suede would be strictly for appearance and have little function, because everything else ZL1-specific is form AND function. I seriously don't know, and am not pretending to make an excuse, but I am truly curious: Is this suede a benefit for better grip and is it going to be at least as rugged as leather? I can see adding it to the seats would grap clothes and suits better, but it's a little different when we're talking about what we're grabbing at with our hands, in this case...


It's on the wheel and shifter for increased friction for better grip for sure. What I'm saying is for me personally, I have no plans for tracking my car, so I prefer looks rather than function as far as the wheel and shifter. Based on past items I have had with suede, be it real or simulated, it gets rather grungy looking after a couple years.
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